Chicago Cubs: Brandon Morrow living up to his billing

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 27: Brandon Morrow
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 27: Brandon Morrow /

With closer Wade Davis departing for Colorado last winter, the Chicago Cubs went a more unconventional route to find his replacement. In this short part of the season, the moves are certainly paying dividends.

The Chicago Cubs signed Brandon Morrow to a two-year deal worth $21 million with a third-year team option for 2020. At 33, this is Morrow’s first closing role, and he has flourished.

So far in ten appearances, Morrow is a perfect six-for-six in save opportunities. He has pitched nine innings, given up six hits, walked three, and struck out nine. Yet to give up a run, Morrow’s FIP is just 2.55 and a BABIP of .286. Morrow has answered any questions about his ability to close.

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Finding his stride

Last season he found something with the Dodgers. He was the primary setup man to Kenley Jansen. Last season he posted a 1.55 FIP with a 29.4 K%. With the Cubs, his K% is 22.6, not incredibly far off.

The walk rate may be something to watch out for…with the Dodgers, his BB% was just 5.3, while with the Cubs his BB% is 9.7. A small sample size of just April can inflate numbers a little, but something to keep an eye on.

Morrow’s career has been a roller coaster. Drafted by the Mariners as the fifth overall pick, he has battled injuries off and on during his time in the Majors.

Pitching as a starter for the Mariners, Blue Jays, and just a short time with the Padres, the Padres are the ones who decided to turn him into a reliever. Since becoming a reliever, Morrow has never had an ERA higher than 1.69.

Next: This is who we expected to see all season

The Dodgers trusted Morrow so much that they pitched him in every single game of the World Series last season against the Houston Astros. By this time, he was worn out and had an 8.44 ERA in the World Series. However, against the Cubs in the LCS, Morrow had four scoreless outings when the Dodgers completely dominated the Cubs. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, sign ’em. That’s how that saying goes, isn’t it?